LEAP Program

Many studies show a correlation between companies with a greater proportion of women in senior decision-making positions and the delivery of better economic results for that company, as well as a greater focus on social and environmental issues.

Now is the time for business to commit to SDG 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. Through its new LEAP project, WBCSD is aiming to accelerate this transition.

The challenge

Gender equality is a matter of business value, not just a matter of social justice. The Better Business, Better World report, launched by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission in January 2017, shows that achieving gender parity and other human capital gains would unlock between USD $12 and USD $28 trillion by 2030. However, women are still underrepresented in the senior ranks of many companies.

The business case

Increasing the representation of women at the top of companies helps business become more sustainable. Companies with higher female representation on their boards tend to give higher priority to environmental and social issues. Women also bring critical competencies to successfully develop business opportunities aligned with the SDGs: long-term thinking, innovation, collaboration, transparency, environmental management, and social inclusiveness. However, companies are still struggling to increase women representation at the top, and progress is very slow.

The solution

LEAP is a new education project aimed at women and companies. It is designed to help women reach senior positions in their companies and ensure that sustainability is both embedded in their leadership and included in their company strategy.



LEAP: Leading Women for Sustainable Development

A new education program for leading women and sustainability

SDG impact


 Rodney Irwin

Rodney Irwin

Managing Director, Redefining Value and Education

Gabriela Uriarte

Gabriela Uriarte

Lead, Leading Women Project

Irene Gedeon

Irene Gedeon

Lead, Circular Economy Communications & WBCSD Delegate to the Alliance to End Plastic Waste